SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION
Minutes of the regular meeting of Thursday, January 16, 2003.
(As approved amended February 20, 2003)
The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Tuesday, January 16, 2003 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.
The meeting was called to order at 4:06PM by Vice President Steiman.
The following members were noted present: Commissioners Bautista, Coulter Steiman, and Strobin. Commissioners Chin and Streets were excused. President Higueras’ arrival was expected to be delayed.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE DECEMBER 19, 2002 COMMISSION MEETING
BOND PROGRAM MANAGER’S REPORT
PROP 14 STATE LIBRARY BOND UPDATE
JOINT USE COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT
AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE DECEMBER 19, 2002 COMMISSION MEETING
An anonymous member of the public commented that this person's Public Comment remarks as reported were a fair approximation of what was said, called attention to an editorial error in public comment on Item #6, and found lacking the reporting of Commissioner Coulter’s comments concerning this individual's remarks about Martin Paley. Mr. Peter Warfield felt that the Minutes could be improved, citing a lack of details in branch renovation reports, and in comments he had made regarding changes on POE recommendations such as elimination of plans to bridge the 2nd floor. Mr. Warfield clarified his reported comments concerning the Library's broken promise of case by case consideration of interim branch services.
Motion: Commissioner Coulter, seconded by Commissioner Steiman, that the December 19, 2002 Minutes be approved as amended.
Action: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Coulter, Steiman, and Strobin)
AGENDA ITEM #2 BOND PROGRAM MANAGER’S REPORT
Ms. Marilyn Thompson, Branch Library Improvement Program Manager informed the Commissioners that there would be no informational presentation at this meeting, then provided a detailed overview of her regular Budget, Schedule, Site Acquisitions, Active Projects, and Community Outreach Reports (see attached report) The Bond Program Manager called attention to the Budget Report dated January 16th that recapped Bond Program Budget activity to date reflecting the change resulting from Commission action on December 19, 2002. The Bond Program Manager then reported no changes in the Schedule since June 20, 2002. Ms. Thompson then updated the Commissioners concerning site acquisition activities related to the Glen Park, Mission Bay, Portola, Ingleside, and Visitacion Valley Branch Libraries, and the Support Services Center at 190-9th Street. The Bond Program Manager next outlined active projects at the Richmond, Excelsior, Noe Valley, Marina, and Parkside Branch Libraries as well as discussed recent RFQ’s for professional services activities. Ms. Thompson then provided a schedule of recent and upcoming community outreach meetings and activities, reported the website up and active, and noted that the next edition of the Bond Program Newsletter should be released in February. Ms. Thompson reported that there would be no special report at this meeting. Public comment:
An anonymous member of the public remarked that two items went by quickly, a report that program schedules would be revised as a result of a Prop. 14 strategy, that this person noted had not been adopted by the Commission, and second that the Excelsior Branch design discussion would be held next month. This person noted that previous commitments to discuss Excelsior Branch had not been kept after being announced at the neighborhood meeting and some views concerning the project might not be heard if people were unsure of when the Commission would discuss it. Mr. Peter Warfield complained that explanatory documents were not mailed with the agenda and not available until the meeting, finding this a disservice to the public. Mr. Ed Regan expressed opposition to the proposed new Glen Park Branch, preferring a stand-alone library, and also voiced opposition to any cooperative agreement with the school district at the Portola Branch. Ms. Sue Cauthen commented that she was concerned with possible reductions in branch book collections and suggested that neighborhood organizations were also opposed.Ms. Jeannene Przyblyski, Friends of Noe Valley, lauded the selection of Alice Carey, a noted historic preservation architect, for the Noe Valley Branch and looked forward to the proposed neighborhood design intensive.
In response to questions by Vice President Steiman, Ms. Thompson reported that changes in various program costs would most likely result in no significant changes in overall budgeted costs for the Mission Bay Branch Library.
AGENDA ITEM #3 PROP 14 STATE LIBRARY BOND UPDATE
City Librarian Susan Hildreth presented a more detailed report and overview of the Prop. 14 State Library Bond Board meeting held on December 2 and 19, 2002 and what the selections might mean for the Library’s future applications (copy attached) for Prop. 14 (State Library Bond) funds. Ms. Hildreth analyzed the trends apparent in the allocation of the first $150 million to be awarded and discussed the implications for the $110 million in Cycle 2, and the final Cycle 3 $90 million. Ms. Hildreth discussed the near success of the Excelsior Branch application, citing its strengths and noting that its only weakness was the site’s lack of space to expand. The City Librarian then described the rankings and geographical distribution of selected projects and noted that projects located in districts represented by State Bond Board Members fared better than others. Ms. Hildreth then outlined the Library’s aggressive planning efforts to participate in the Prop. 14 Cycle 2 applications, calling attention to the strengths of the Richmond Branch application and discussed the competitive merits the of proposed Ingleside and Portola Branch applications. The City Librarian noted that joint use agreements with local schools seemed to be a key element in successful applications and discussed the Library’s ongoing efforts to work with the school district. Ms. Hildreth noted that while Glen Park could be competitive, the State Bond’s requirement for completed planning approvals could impact project eligibility. The City Librarian then reported that Portola and Visitation Valley Prop. 14 applications would be submitted in Cycle 3 and that Bayview, North Beach and Ortega as well as several other branches might also be considered. Finally, Ms. Hildreth reported on efforts to put another $2 billion Library Construction Bond on the November 2004 Ballot noting that planning called for serious consideration for 1st priority funding by the new bond for unfunded Prop. 14 Cycle 3 applications.
President Higueras joined the meeting at 4:40PM
An anonymous member of the public suggested that the Prop. 14 strategy should be placed before the Commission as an action item and addressed by the Commission. This person additionally commented on the highly competitive nature of the Prop. 14 funding process noting that the Library needed $10 in state funds to complete the Bond program. This individual cautioned against rushing into cooperative agreements with schools citing what they viewed as divergent interests. Mr. Ed Regan agreed with the previous speaker saying money with strings attached was not good and noted that cooperative agreements with schools would negatively impact senior’s use of already crowded branches such as Parkside. Peter Warfield echoed previous speakers’ concerns with the divergent interests of schools and libraries questioning their compatibility, and asking what the Library would give up to gain cooperation from the schools. Mr. Warfield also expressed concern with a possible loss of books from the Richmond Branch as a result of its renovation.
President Higueras pointed out that the Library Commission had originally requested a fully funded Bond Program, including $20 million more than was approved by the CIAC (Capital Improvement Advisory Committee), and that as a result of the Committee’s decision the Library must compete for Prop. 14 funds to successfully complete the Bond Program as planned. President Higueras also strongly emphasized that cooperation with schools would organize service delivery, strengthen, and enhance branch libraries and improve services to all library users. President Higueras made it clear that the Commission viewed cooperation with schools as an opportunity to positively benefit the library system. Commissioner Bautista pointed out that schools have their own libraries and librarians and that public library cooperation with the schools would only enhance service for the entire community. Vice President Steiman recalled that it had been a longstanding wish of the Library Commission to be more involved in providing services to students and children even when there were no State funds to be gained through such cooperative efforts.
AGENDA ITEM #4 JOINT USE COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT
City Librarian Susan Hildreth described the yearlong process of negotiation with the SFUSD and school staff that resulted in the draft joint use cooperative agreement. Ms. Hildreth then presented the proposed cooperative agreement between the San Francisco Public Library and the San Francisco Unified School District for the Portola Branch Library to the Commissioners for their consideration and recommendation of approval to the Board of Supervisors (copy attached). Ms. Hildreth reported that Prop. 14 regulations required School Board and Board of Supervisors approval of such agreement. The City Librarian outlined and discussed in some detail the various elements of the proposed agreement governing and outlining the new relationships for Family Literacy Centers and Homework Help Center between the branch library and the Martin Luther King, Jr. and Taylor Schools. The City Librarian pointed out that both schools had libraries and that the agreement would only enhance library services. The City Librarian noted that the 20 year agreements did not call for any co-location of services and were designed to match criteria outlined in the Prop. 14 regulations describing such relationships. Ms. Hildreth commented that these agreements would be worthwhile even if there were no State funding involved but that the programming provided under the agreements would be contingent on the Library receiving State Library Bond funds. Ms. Hildreth then introduced Chief of Children and Youth Services Toni Bernardi who presented more details of how the proposed programs would work. Ms. Bernardi noted that the agreement would benefit children in the schools as well as neighborhood children, benefit the entire community as well as the children, not burden library staff or other users, and gain active reciprocity from schools by more active cooperation and participation by school staff. Ms. Bernardi then discussed how the new Family Literacy Center would function and benefits to the overall library programming that would result. Ms. Bernardi then discussed the Homework Center. The Chief of Children & Youth Services concluded her report by pointing out that this program responded to the American Library Association’s longtime goal that every schoolchild have a library card. The City Librarian reiterated that these services would only be provided if State funding were obtained for the branch libraries.
An anonymous member of the public expressed concern that explanatory documents were not received prior to the meeting and found troubling approval of a 20 year agreement to provide services when Prop. E (Library Preservation Fund) had only 7 years remaining. Mr. Ed Regan commented that school libraries, citing Lincoln High School, were only open for limited hours and that this agreement would encourage more students to use branch libraries that were already not big enough, resulting in seniors being left out. Mr. Peter Warfield urged the Commission not take action on a 20-year agreement without having time to review the impact of any changes and increased costs.
Vice President Steiman noted that the Library was already doing many of the things discussed in the agreement, found the plan laudable, and should be undertaken. Commissioner Bautista corrected Mr. Regan’s misapprehensions concerning school library hours and noted that many of these connections between the schools and libraries were already in place. Commissioner Bautista suggested that such agreements were long overdue, important for families, and an outstanding use of the new branch library faculties. Commissioner Coulter commended Ms. Bernardi and her staff for working to create the means to cooperate with the schools and emphasized that serving children was a very important role for the Library. In response to questions by President Higueras, Ms. Hildreth reported that there would be no cash cost, only allocation of staff and materials, and noted that these proposals largely continued existing efforts in a more organized fashion. President Higueras agreed that the agreement seemed to only make predictable what the library was already doing and inquired concerning what happened if the agreements did not work out. The City Librarian reported that she that as far as she knew, there would be no strict reviews or required reports. Ms. Hildreth suggested that the personalities at the schools and in the branches could largely determine how well these agreements functioned.
Motion: Commissioner Coulter, seconded by Commissioner Steiman, that the proposed joint use cooperative agreement between the San Francisco Public Library and the San Francisco Unified School District be approved and recommended to the Board of Supervisors for its approval.
Action: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, and Strobin)
AGENDA ITEM #5 PUBLIC COMMENT
An anonymous member of the public continued a previous discussion of the Fuhrman Fund. Mr. Ed Regan suggested that Library public service hours be expanded from 6AM until Midnight 7 days per week. Carol Gee, a Parkside Branch user representing the Parkside Expansion and Renovation Committee presented the Commissioners with a petition and read a statement calling for the expansion of the Parkside Branch Library. A Parkside neighborhood parent commented on its need to expand, noting that children are the future, and that the branch library was a good safe place for children. Mr. Dan Ryan, a Parkside resident since 1969, noted that his children and grandchildren used the library. Mr. Ryan reported that the density and diversity of the growing neighborhood required that the library be expanded and indicated that the neighborhood was willing to work with the library to gain support for its expansion. Ms. Nancy Wuerfel remarked that the neighborhood had requested an expansion of the branch in September and called attention to the neighborhood’s successful campaign for the Parkside Elementary School. Ms. Wuerfel urged the Commissioners to suspend plans for the branch renovation and form a task force to find the needed funds to allow for an expansion of the branch. Ms. Wuerfel, indicated that both Supervisor Ma and Assemblyman Yee were interested in and supportive of the branch expansion proposal. Mr. Peter Warfield expressed support for expansion, suggested that the Bond Program plans would reduce book collections, and suggested floor space was not the only issue. Mr. Warfield called for a reconsideration of the entire bond program and asked for an accounting of branch book collections. Ms. Louise Lee, Mercy High School student, requested a bigger Parkside Branch and could not see why this would be a problem. Ms. Annie Lee, a Parkside resident, asked that the branch be expanded, noting her school library was not open on weekends and the current branch was very crowded.
AGENDA ITEM #6 ADJOURNMENT
Motion: Commissioner Coulter, seconded by Commissioner Steiman that the meeting be adjourned.
Action: AYE-5-0 (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, and Strobin)
The meeting was adjourned at 6:13PM.
Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 1/23/03
Please note: These are draft Minutes subject to change by the Library Commission. Copies of Commission Minutes and handouts are available in the Office of the Commission Secretary, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Library Commission meeting of January 7, 2003
The Public Comment Summary Statements included in these Minutes are authorized by San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.16..
These summary statements are provided by the speaker. Their contents are neither generated by, nor subject to approval or verification of accuracy by, the San Francisco Public Library Commission.
The number of members of the public who spoke anonymously at this meeting: 1
(PDF 182K) available for viewing.